'You will go to jail or grave'

KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu says that criminals will have to choose between going to jail for a long time or going down to the grave.

KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu says that criminals will have to choose between going to jail for a long time or going down to the grave.

He was speaking ahead of a provincial symposium on crime dubbed "Building a united front against crime". A date has still to be finalised for the symposium.

"Kindly factor in three things - how you will bide your time while serving your long jail sentence, your will (for your ill-gotten gains) and a cemetery wherein you will be buried," Mchunu said to criminals.

Yesterday Mchunu said the planned provincial symposium would involve all sections of society, including political parties, business, religion, civics, councillors, and traditional leaders as well as community, academic, youth, lawyers, media and various state organisations.

His announcement comes barely a day after police nabbed three men, including a police officer, linked to the killing of farmer Warwick Dorning.

Dorning, a retired civil servant, was gunned down as he came to his wife's rescue against armed robbers early this month. Intruders had entered their farm home, Adamshurst, near Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

Mchunu described the killers as "scavengers ".

"Particularly disturbing, yet pleasing, is that police officers also arrested one of their own. It shows that they take their oath seriously and do their work without fear or favour," he said.

The symposium will focus on crime fighting, prevention and detection.

Mchunu said they should have a database of suspected criminals per locality, police report-back mechanisms for the victims of crime, roles and responsibilities of individual sectors and individuals in sustaining and building a united front against crime.

He said while they will insist that the police respect human rights and uphold the law, armed criminals terrorising communities and shooting at police must expect no less than they mete out to communities.

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